Vines for Sale

Well, it was too quiet today – 2021 part 2

By billn on December 16, 2021 #the market#vines for sale

Savigny Vergelesses looking towards Corton
Savigny Vergelesses today, looking towards Corton

I got quite a mailbag when I made my first post of (semi) unsubstantiated rumours and the peddling of idle chit-chat, so thought I’d update you on some of those, and add a few more, to finish this difficult viticultural year. Most of these deals are already done:

  • Domaine Lamarche / Comte Liger-Belair: From my last post, my highest category of ‘unconfirmed rumour’ has now, in part been confirmed: The ‘not La Grand Rue’ vines of Domaine Lamarche are with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair from the start of 2022. As for the purported €800 million transaction – well, all has gone quiet on that one – for now 🙂
  • Domaine Bernard Moreau / Domaine Benoit Moreau: I previously mentioned this split and whilst it is not ‘officially, official’ it seems that it is, official! I recently tasted with Benoit in his new cuverie. He got started with some 2020s that were contract purchases from friends – I tasted those – but his 2021s are in elevage and these are his first parcels from the family domaine with more to come. With a friend from Burgundy, he’s also invested in some parcels of Beaujolais which they are working biodynamically – a mix of Morgon and Chiroubles.
  • Domaine des Varoilles: Subscribers will already have seen my recent report on this domaine, newly named Domaine du Couvent. For those not in that loop, following the retirement of the Swiss part of the Varoilles ownership, it’s the Chéron family of Nuits St.Georges who has full control of the domaine which has been rolled into their own personal holdings – but one thing is missing, as you may have noted from the name-change. The Chérons decided that a 6-hectare monopole – even one that is a Gevrey 1er cru – would be too much for them to commercialise, so they have placed it with another domaine en-fermage. And which domaine I hear you ask(?) Domaine Prieuré-Roch – making that their third monopole, along with their Nuits Clos des Corvées and their Vosne Clos Goillotte.
  • Domaine des Chézeaux: Here’s a transaction that’s still under negotiation, so I won’t give you all the names just now; but given the death of the owner of all the des Chézeaux estate, the wider Mercier family have now decided to sell their holdings. They actually made no wine themselves but with 70% ownership of Griotte-Chambertin, plus Clos St.Denis, Chambertin, Chambolle-Charmes, Gevrey’s Lavaux and Cazetiers 1er crus plus plenty of villages Gevrey-Chambertin you can easily imagine a sale price in excess of 30 million – and I could be massively underplaying the final number! It seems that the proprietor of a well-known Côte de Nuits domaine (let’s call them A-b-C) has got an investor or two who will pay the asking price – which sounds like curtains for the existing metayeurs – let’s see. Interestingly, I actually got the name of the purchasing domaine when in conversation with someone in the London wine trade who began with ‘Did you hear that…?‘ – it seems that there are ‘leaks’ everywhere…
  • Lastly for today, Domaine Clos des Lambrays: have an additional 1.6 hectares of vines this year in the form of Vosne Romanée 1er Cru les Beaux Monts (0.45 ha), Nuits 1er Cru La Richemone (0.89 ha), Nuits 1er Cru Les Murgers (0.18 ha) and Nuits 1er Cru Les Cras (0.08 ha), bringing the domaine to 13.26 hectares of vines. The mention of La Richmone started the cogs whirring in my brain and after a little checking, it seems that these vines were previously leased to Domaine Perrot-Minot. So that will have been a sad loss for the other Morey domaine, though the produce of these vines will have only moved to a (new) cuverie about 50 metres from that of Perrot-Minot! Of course, Domaine des Lambrays (LVMH!) is not yet done; they are also owners of 0.52 ha parcel of Ruchottes-Chambertin which is currently rented to another producer. This officially comes back to the Lambrays domaine in 2031. I can only conjecture who is exploiting such a large parcel of Ruchottes – the vineyard is not much more than 3 hectares in total. Perhaps Fred Esmonin?

Anyway, enjoy…

Well, it was too quiet today!

By billn on July 28, 2021 #the market#vines for sale

Let me know if you’re shocked at such unsubstantiated drivel in these pages or whether you’d like to see much more 🙂

I’ve been storing up the rumours and other ‘non-announced’ changes for some time, so why not let’s run through a few of them – I can only get in trouble for suggesting such heresies!

The highest category of unconfirmed rumour:
La Grande Rue & La T̢che(Right: La Grande Rue and La T̢che.) I recently visited Domaine Lamarche in Vosne Рand what a beautiful range of 2020s Nicole Lamarche has produced!

Only afterwards, discussing my visits with others, was I exposed to the rumours of an imminent €800 million payment by LVMH for the domaine – this seemed to be corroborated by a second source who, according to them, noted that LVMH is currently interviewing for senior winemaking position for the Côte d’Or – assuming they are not looking for the 3rd head of Lambrays in 3 years and that Domaine Eugenié is remaining stable in its 15th year!

But from sources much closer (geographically) to Vosne-Romanée, it seems that maybe the domaine will actually be splitting without the intervention of LVMH’s financial largesse. La Grande Rue to Nicole Lamarche and all the remaining vineyards to Nathalie Lamarche – note that the domaine has labelled all the wines as Nicole Lamarche since 2018. Nathalie doesn’t have an ‘agricultural structure‘ so those who suggest that they are in the know are placing those remaining vines/appellations with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair in a fermage deal – let’s see – but it would be very good timing for his shiny new cuverie!

There remains the subject of the reported €800 million LVMH acquisition – if such a thing exists – which others suggest it still does – but they are now pointing their fingers in the direction of a famously under-performing domaine in Gevrey-Chambertin. Of course, if such sums of cash are to be believed, then it would have to be Gevrey’s biggest owner of grand crus – no?

And the following are not really rumours – there are simply no press-releases.

1. Domaine Bernard Moreau
For me, a doyenne of Chassagne. This domaine has been run for a number of years by the brothers Alex and Benoit Moreau. The split between the two, apparently, has been coming for a long time but with Benoit well underway building his new winery, possibly ready for the upcoming harvest, I’m awaiting some kind of confirmation on the way forward…

2. Domaines Duc de Magenta & Vougeraie
The Duc de Magenta’s choice slice of Chassagne, their 4.57 hectare 1er Cru Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle (Monopole), has been leased to Domaine de la Vougeraie from this 2021 vintage. The Magenta estate was 12 hectares, I’ve not heard that any other parts are on the move. It will be virtually the only wine in Vougeraie’s line-up that’s not certified organic – but they are already underway to start this (3-year) certification process.

pommard’s clos de la commaraine

By billn on November 10, 2017 #vines for sale

The château, pictured this week.

Laurent Gotti’s fine site (here, in French) this week broke the news on another, much lower profile, domaine/vines purchase in Burgundy – that of the Château de la Commaraine in Pommard, and it’s 3.75 hectare monopoly of the Clos de la Commaraine – Pommard 1er Cru, no less. The sellers were the Jaboulet-Vercherre family, the wine having been made, for some time, by Louis Jadot.

At first sight, this is also an expensive acquisition – approaching a million euros per hectare – for ‘only’ 1er cru land, and relatively under the radar premier cru land at that – we are not talking Rugiens here. It is not simply a vineyard purchase though, there is a (externally, at least) fine-looking château included in the price, a building that alone would have an asking price over €1 million. Gotti notes that the new owners plan this to be a luxury leisure retreat, so their strategy is as much about oenotourisme (the local buzzword for a couple of years now) as it is about wine.

So it seems that with the Château de la Commaraine, plus the Château de Pommard, Pommard is to become the new chic destination of jet-setters – I trust that all the new château owners have bullet-proof marketing projections 🙂

Edit, 18 Nov 2017
One week later, much more info here, via Decanter…

château de la crée – all change…

By billn on April 24, 2015 #the market#vines for sale

A great piece of news from Bruce Sanderson today – I can’t see Ken hooking up the plough though!

ever upwards…

By billn on June 19, 2014 #the market#vines for sale


I’m guessing that it’s not a good idea to hold your breath whilst waiting for lower prices 😉

At grand cru level, land sold for between $2.7m and $12.9m a hectare (2.47 acres) in 2013, the ministry wrote. The average per-hectare price rose from $5.2m in 2012. It has been rising steadily since 1996, when a hectare was selling for a relatively paltry $1.66m.
Source: Winesearcher

just shuffling around Chablis – day 1

By billn on April 14, 2014 #travels in burgundy 2014#vines for sale

Oh, and for those of you who missed the news:

seguin-manuel grows…

By billn on October 14, 2013 #the market#vines for sale


Domaine Seguin-Manuel gets a toehold in the Côte de Nuits

Domaine Seguin-Manuel takes over a 1,8-hectare vineyard in Vosne-Romanée « Aux Communes ». Hand harvested on October 3-4, the grapes coming from these old vines are showing a high quality potential.

The estate now covers a total area of 8,5 hectares. Initially located in Savigny-lès-Beaune, Domaine Seguin-Manuel has been farming several new plots in Beaune, Pommard, Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet since its acquisition by Thibaut Marion in 2004. In the process of certification, all the vineyards are organically grown.

« This new plot in Vosne-Romanée makes it possible for us to get a toehold in an iconic village of the Côte de Nuits. It contributes to the control of our supplies of sought-after appellations wines and strengthens the artisan dimension of our winery».

Seguin-Manuel produce 80 000 bottles a year and export 70% of them in some thirty countries.

Thibaut Marion


all-change in morey st.denis…

By billn on October 03, 2013 #producer update#vines for sale

a-brace-of-charlopinsWhilst the harvest starts to peak in the village of Morey, it’s all-change for some of its number. David Clark and Kellen Lignier are working their last vintages, doubtless both with a sense of sadness, but for very different reasons.

Starting with David Clark; it was clear that he hoped to move up through the crus, eventually ending up with some nice 1er or grand cru land – but after ten years, he still hadn’t broke through the villages-level ‘ceiling’. Add to that a back that wasn’t born to grape-tending and was needing regular physio-sessions, and a pretty lonely existence in Morey, earlier this year David finally decided to sell his domaine. It’s been common knowledge in and around Morey that Yann Charlopin (right, right – son of Philippe) together with his wife, Justine, are buying the domaine – indeed, everything was signed and sealed today – Yann, who has also worked in Tasmania, is looking to establish his own credentials, stepping away from the shadow of his father. The new domaine will be called Charlopin-Tisser.

David who wanted to stay in Morey until the end of the year is now paying rent 😉 I wish David all the fun and success in whatever he plans to do next – I understand some of David’s engineering creations, his bottling ‘line’ for instance, have found a worthy home at Le Grappin.

Onto Kellen Lignier, who, with her two children, combatively continued making wine (and very good wine too) following the death of her husband, Romain Lignier. Most of the domaine’s vineyards belonged to Romain/Kellen’s Father/Father-in-law, Hubert Lignier. Well-passed his retirement, Hubert embarked on a course to recover all his vines from Kellen and (I suppose) his grand-children – no easy task, as Kellen and family were de-facto metayeurs – and French law usually sides with them. First Hubert had to get a wine-maker back into the family, and that was his son, Laurent. Then he set about a number of legal actions which first returned the Gevrey 1er Les Combottes and now about 3 years later, it seems everything else. Kellen has had some bitter things to say on her Facebook page, but it seems a fait-à-complit. I assume there will be no L&A Lignier 2013’s, but Kellen rarely returns emails anymore…

I also wish Kellen, and family, all the best in whatever they next choose to do.

And it goes without saying, that a certain book’s chapter on Morey St.Denis is now way out of date…

burgundy (the land) is too expensive, so…

By billn on August 22, 2013 #vines for sale

…everyone is buying up land in Macon, Beaujolais and even the Jura is becoming fashionable, but methinks Jadot are a little slower than, say, Drouhin in this case. It’s anyway a nice ‘retirement’ project for Jacques!

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